Advisory issued for Calgary’s Bow, Elbow rivers during spring snowmelt

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Calgarians are being advised to stay off the Bow and Elbow rivers in the coming days as melting snow is expected to bring high, fast water down the waterways.

“Calgarians are advised against boating and all other watercraft activities on the rivers during this time,” the city said in a news release on Monday.

“We are expecting ongoing high flows for the next while, due to snowmelt, the ongoing presence of thunderstorms and a low-pressure system entering Alberta on the weekend.”

Despite the expected high waters, officials aren’t anticipating any flooding over the riverbanks.

“Flows on the Bow and Elbow are currently fast, cold and murky, making conditions on and near the rivers dangerous,” the city said.

Crews with the Calgary Fire Department’s aquatics team will be monitoring the rivers while the advisories are in place, the city said.

For those who want to spend time near the rivers over the next few days, the city had the following tips to keep safe:

Exercise caution around riverbanks as the fast-moving water can cause erosion and destabilization

Warn children about the dangers of fast-moving water, particularly people who live near rivers

Cyclists and pedestrians should watch for low-lying areas where the river can submerge the pathway

Keep pets away from fast-moving water

Remove lawn furniture and other portable items off the riverbank

Information on river safety bylaws as well as safety alerts can be found on the city’s website, and people can monitor flow rates in Alberta’s rivers on the province’s website. The city also has information on flow rates online. Any closures to pathways will be listed online as well.

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